‘I head back to the bathroom to start cleaning up, and the doorbell rings again. The dog starts barking and jumping on the back door, leaving bloody streaks in the process. Having already had enough of whoever is at the door, I decide to ignore it. The doorbell rings again. Fine. Anyone but Ed McMahon is going to be sorry.
Still out of breath from the fight, sweating, covered in scratches and blood and hair, and carrying a nail trimming tool in one hand, I fling open the door. The picture-perfect charismatic family has decided to let the little girl be the front man. She looks to be about eight years old. She’s standing on the front porch, while Mom, Dad, and Little Brother – about five – are standing a few feet back on the walkway. I grit my teeth in my best Dirty Harry impression, look directly at the little girl, and say, “Yes?”
The boy isn’t paying much attention, having found a stick with which to occupy himself, but the other three family members are frozen. The mom finally pulls the boy back against her leg, but they’re too far from the girl to reach her without stepping closer themselves. The girl is unable to move. The dad, showing his true colors, is also petrified. The mom finally gives him an elbow and he tries to find his voice. I continue to stare at the little girl. “Yes, can I help you?”‘